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Chamber music

The following information applies to the Classical department, please visit this page for the Jazz programme.

Chamber music plays an undeniably important role in the education of a professional musician, and it is given centre-stage in the Music study programmes, from Bachelor 1 to Master 2.

In the Vademecum you find practical information about Chamber music.

Chamber musicians have the ability to take an individual, prepared part and to put it together with other players to create a larger, unified whole. Unlike ensemble playing, chamber music involves playing your own part as a soloist, without a conductor or coach leading the group. Independence, responsibility, openness, a sense of team-work, and the ability to organize and listen are essential qualities of the chamber musician.

In Chamber Music lessons, you will be challenged to explore your own interpretation within the traditional framework. Together with your fellow musicians, you will search for a homogenous sound, maintaining your own personal accents and style all the while. The possibilities are almost limitless, both in terms of setting – from classical string quartets to unusual contemporary combinations – as well as in terms of repertoire – from the Viennese classics to new music. A core team of teaching staff will oversee the specifics of each instrumental group, and students may take lessons from various teachers during the course of the study programme.

During the bachelor’s course, you will become familiar with the various styles, combinations and interpretations of the standard chamber music repertoire. This repertoire is also covered in the supporting subjects, Analysis, Aural Training, General Music Practice, and Practical Harmony and Improvisation. In this way, you will not only gain knowledge of the basic repertoire, but you will also work on essential practical competencies such as aural training and intonation.

As a master’s student, alongside the traditional repertoire, you can integrate your own interests and choices in terms of programmes. For extra focus on chamber music, you have the option of taking the Chamber Music Extension course as an elective subject, and you may choose to do the Master’s Exam Chamber Music. After your master’s study, you may specialize further in a specific chamber music setting or certain chamber music repertoire by pursuing the Postgraduate Chamber Music.

Countless chamber music projects, masterclasses, and concerts provide you with the required stage experience and inspiration to broaden your horizons. Various international ensembles and great masters will share their expertise with you during the course of the academic year, such as the Spiegel Quartet, the Artis-Quartet Vienna, and Miri Yampolsky. Every year, an internationally renowned ensemble takes on the role of Ensemble in Residence. The members of the ensemble give six masterclasses during the academic year for the various instrumental groups. The icing on the cake is the Chamber Music Festival in which students, teachers, and members of the Ensemble in Residence perform together in the Blauwe Zaal of the deSingel arts centre. During the festival, all students present their exam repertoire for the public in a professional setting, and members of the Ensemble in Residence and the chamber music teaching staff assess the various concert-exams.

Professional musicians at the highest level have active careers as chamber musicians, either as their principal focus or as a subsidiary activity. Chamber music combines perfectly with life as an orchestral musician, teaching, and with creating interdisciplinary projects.